HUTCHINSON, Kan. - Dakota State fell short in a pair of games Saturday in the Sterling (Kan.) softball Tournament at the Fun Sports Complex. The Trojans dropped a 7-6 decision to Friends (Kan.) and concluded the tournament with a 12-7 loss to host-team Sterling.
DSU dropped their overall record to 8-6. The Trojans were 2-3 against members of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) in the tournament.
Friends (Kan.) 7, Dakota State (S.D.) 6 - BOX SCORE
The Trojans jumped to an early lead in the opening inning. Renaye Gamson reached on base by a walk with one out. She advanced to second base after Katie Silbowski hit a ground out to second. Brittany Hill produced an RBI single to score Gamson to give Trojans a 1-0 lead.
The Falcons answered by scoring three runs in the bottom half of the opening inning. Courtney Kifer opened with a double and advanced to third base by a wild pitch. Amanda Jimenez recorded bases-on-ball. Cheyanne Stewart hit an RBI single to score Kifer to tie the game at 1-1. After Silbowski struck out the next two FU's batters, Kelsee Farmer hit a 2-RBI triple to score Jimenez and Stewart to give the Falcons a 3-1 lead.
Jimenez hit a single to start the bottom third frame for Friends. She took advantage of two wild pitches from Silbowski and added a run to extend FU's lead to 4-1.
Dakota State exploded for five runs in the top of the fourth inning to regain their lead back. Elizabeth Rubalcava and Samantha Deen hit back-to-back singles to open the inning. Bretton Lien reached on base by a walk to set up a bases loaded situation for the Trojans. Shai Lee-Hill and Chelsey John recorded back-to-back RBI single to reduce FU's lead to 4-3. Lien scored caused by Falcon's defensive error after Audrey Lorenz hit a fielder's choice to tie the game at 4-4. Gamson added an RBI walk to score Lexy Miller (pinch runner for Shai-Lee Hill) to earn a 5-4 lead. The Trojans made it 6-4 after Brittany Hill hit an RBI single to score John.
Kifer hit an RBI single in the bottom fourth inning as Friends trimmed DSU's lead to 6-5.
The Faclons tied the game at 6-6 in the bottom fifth as Kelli Nicholson produced an RBI double.
Nicholson opened the bottom seventh inning with a single. Tara Steinbach, pinch runner for Nicholson, advanced to second base after a sacrifice bunt from Janelle Oder. Farmer hit a ground out to second and advanced Steinbach to third base. Kendra Crippen reached on base by an intentional walk to set up runners on third and first bases with two outs for Friends. Steinbach scored the last run of the game caused by DSU's defensive error to give FU the victory.
Gamson was 2-for-3 at the plate with a double, a single, an RBI and a run scored for DSU. Brittany Hill added two singles and two RBIs. Shai-Lee Hill had two singles and an RBI. Rubalcava, Deen and John each had a single and a run scored. John swiped one base.
Kifer, Stewart and Nicholson each had two hits for Friends. Farmer had a triple and two RBIs. Jimenez, Crippen and Michelle Teo each had a hit. Stewart recorded two stolen bases, while Kifer and Jimenez each swiped one base.
The Falcons outhit the Trojans 10-9 in the game.
Dakota State left 11 runners on base compared to FU's eight runners left on base.
Silbowski started the game on the pitching mount for the Trojans. She tossed 4 1/3 innings and allowed six runs (one unearned) on eight hits. Deen took the loss in relief as she worked 2 1/3 innings. She gave up an unearned run on two hits.
Kelsey Garner (6-0) remained undefeated as she pitched a complete game victory for the Falcons. She gave up six runs (one unearned) on nine hits. Garner allowed six walks and recorded six strikeouts.
Sterling (Kan.) 12, Dakota State (S.D.) 7 - BOX SCORE
Dakota State could not overcome Sterling's 6-run fourth inning in the second game of the tournament.
The Trojans produced three runs in the top first inning to earn an early lead. Lorenz started the game with a double. Gamson reached on base caused by Warriors' defensive error and advanced Lorenz to second base. Gamson swiped to second base. Brittany Hill hit a 2-RBI single with one out to score Lorenz and Gamson to give DSU a 2-0 lead. Deen added an RBI double to score Gamson to extend Trojans' lead to 3-0.
Sterling answered back in the bottom first frame with three runs scored. With runners on second and third bases with one out, Yolanda Alaifefaleula recorded an RBI ground out for Warriors' first run of the game. SC added two runs caused by DSU's defensive miscues to tie the game at 3-3.
The Trojans regained their lead in the top of the second inning. John was hit-by-pitch with one out. Lorenz hit a ground out to advance John to second base. Gamson produced an RBI single to score John to give DSU a 4-3 lead.
Lori Harshbarger opened the top fourth frame with an infield single. She advanced to second after John recorded a sacrifice bunt. Lorenz hit a single to advance Harshbarger to third base. The Trojans extended their lead to 5-3 when Gamson hit an RBI sacrifice fly to score Harshbarger.
The Warriors exploded for six runs in the bottom fourth frame to overtake a 9-6 lead from Dakota State. The Trojans committed three errors in the inning, while SC just produced two hits.
Silbowski hit a single to open the fifth inning for DSU. She advanced to second base by SC Andrea Allen's wild pitch. Brittany Hill hit a ground out to shortshop and advanced Silbowski to third, but a defensive error in the same play by Sterling allowed Silbowski to score. The Trojans reduced their deficit to 9-6.
Taylor Baxter recorded an RBI single in the bottom fifth inning to give Sterling a 10-6 lead. Alaifefaleula added a 2-RBI single to widen Warriors' lead to 12-6.
DSU attempted to mount a comeback in the final inning. Silbowski reached on base by a walk to open the inning. Brittany Hill hit a single to advance Silbowski to second base. With runners on first and second bases with one out, Shai-Lee Hill recorded an RBI single to score Hill as DSU cut SC's lead to 12-7.
The Trojans could not convert more scoring opportunities as they left three runners on base when the game ended.
Lorenz was 3-for-4 at the plate with a double and two singles for Dakota State. She swiped one base. Deen added a double, a single and an RBI. Brittany Hill had two singles, two runs scored and produced two RBIs. Shai-Lee Hill had two singles and an RBI. Gamson recorded a single and two RBIs. Harshbarger had a single and a run scored.
Alaifefaleula had four RBIs for the Warriors. Jessica Steere, Baxter and Randi Lucas each had two hits. Baxter scored three times. Emily Moore, Steere, LaChelle Bell and Ashli Bell each added two runs.
DSU outhit Sterling 12-8 in the game.
The Trojans committed six errors compared to the Warriors four errors.
Dakota State left eight runners on base. Sterling had five runners left on base.
Shai-Lee Hill started the game for the Trojans. She worked for the first 2/3 innings and allowed three runs (two unearned) on three hits. Deen (2-2) took the loss as she tossed 2 2/3 innings in relief. She gave up four unearned runs on one hit. Silbowski pitched 2 2/3 innings and allowed five runs (two unearned) on four hits. She struck out three SC's batters.
Allen (2-1) tossed a complete game win for the Warriors. She allowed seven runs (two unearned) on 12 hits. Allen recorded four strikeouts.
Dakota State continues their action on the road on Wednesday. The Trojans visit Northwestern (Iowa) of the Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC). The doubleheader kicks off at 4 p.m. in Orange City, Iowa.
Nick Huntimer, Dakota State University Sports Information Director